Location: Indiana, United States

I became a Professor Emeritus after serving 29 years as a recreational therapy faculty member at Indiana University. I'm a long-time Hoosier, having grown up in Hanover, Indiana. My RT practitioner work was in psych/mental health. After completing my Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, my first faculty position was at the University of North Texas. RT has been a wonderful profession for me as I have had the opportunity to serve as an author and national leader.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Eunice Shriver Founded Special Olympics

Eunice Kennedy Shriver, a champion for the rights of persons who are mentally disabled and founder of the Special Olympics, has died. She was 88.

Shriver organized the first Special Olympics in 1968 in Chicago. The two-day event drew more than 1,000 participants from 26 states and Canada.

I can recall attending the Opening Ceremonies of a Special Olympics in New York State. It was quite an event with hundreds of partcipants. Many from the Kennedy family were there, along with a number of prominent figures from the world of sports. It left a positive impression on me.

I'm sure that many participants and spectators have enjoyed Special Olympics over the years. It seems that the games have come to symbolize what persons with intellectual disabilities can achieve.

In getting something like the Special Olympics started, Mrs. Shriver has shown what one person can do to change the world. We should all learn from her example.


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